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SOLAR INSTALLATION SAFETY
A Note on NIOSH, Workers Compensation and Safe Lifting
Back Injury is the most prevalent and costly source of injury to American workers. A reported 372,683 back injuries occurred in 2001, accounting for 27% of all lost time cases. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Twenty-two percent of these back injuries involve more than 31 days lost from work. Using the figure of just 31 days per case, that accounts for 6,964 years of lost time! Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics only reports 31 days or more lost, it can be safely assumed that this figure is even higher! Back injury costs are staggering. The US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine reports that the average cost of a lost-time back injury is over $24,000 and cases involving surgery average $180,000. Once a back injury occurs, the patient is 90% more likely to suffer a recurrence of a back injury than the general population.
From an individual standpoint, few injuries are as debilitating or as painful as a serious back injury. Affecting not only work, but sleep, eating, playing, and every other facet of an individual’s life are all negatively impacted by a back injury. Using the following guideline from The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the NIOSH formula prescribes a Load Constant of 51 pounds (23 kilograms). Completely optimum conditions rarely exist. This means that under no circumstances, should a person lift more than 51 pounds.
Here are the weight/resistance limits of the common materials handling tasks: